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Maarten Brinkerink on Mon, 25 Jan 2010 07:42:08 +0100 (CET)

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For Immediate Release  - -  January 25, 2010


The Public Domain as a whole is the wealth of 
information that is free from the barriers to 
access or reuse usually associated with copyright 
protection, either because it is free from any 
copyright protection or because the right holders 
have decided to remove these barriers. The Public 
Domain ensures that the principles of Article 27 
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 
('Everyone has the right freely to participate in 
the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the 
arts and to share in scientific advancement and 
its benefits.') can be fully enjoyed by everyone 
across the world. In order to increase public 
awareness about such concepts and potentialities 
for spreading knowledge and culture, today 
COMMUNIA, the European Thematic Network on the 
Digital Public Domain, announces the launch of 
the Public Domain Manifesto 

The document outlines a series of general 
principles (opening with: the Public Domain is 
the rule, copyright protection is the exception) 
along with various issues relevant to today's 
Public Domain, and provides some recommendations 
aimed at protecting the Public Domain and 
ensuring that it can continue to function in a 
meaningful way-with particular relevance to 
education, cultural heritage and scientific 

The Public Domain Manifesto reinforces the recent 
Public Domain Day (1. January 2010) initiatives 
and is already available in several languages 
with more translations underway, also featuring 
dozens of initial signers-both individuals and 
organizations worldwide. Everyone is encouraged 
to sign it, to follow our Facebook page and… to 
spread the word!

For more information:
- Public Domain Manifesto website: http://www.publicdomainmanifesto.org
- Public Domain Manifesto Facebook page: 
- Public Domain Day website: http://www.publicdomainday.org


About the Public Domain
In the strict copyright law realm, "Public 
Domain" refers to those works which are no longer 
or have never been protected by copyright. But in 
today's digital networked Information Society, 
the definition of Public Domain essentially 
covers any cultural material that can be used 
without restriction, absent copyright protection 
- broadening its range to include close relations 
with open access, open licensing, fair use, and 
orphan works.

The COMMUNIA Thematic Network focuses on 
theoretical analysis and strategic policy 
discussion of existing and emerging issues 
concerning the public domain in the digital 
environment. Its activities cover several related 
topics, including, but not limited to, 
alternative forms of licensing for creative 
material; open access to scientific publications 
and research results; management of works whose 
authors are unknown (i.e. "orphan works"). Funded 
by the European Commission within the 
eContentplus framework, the 2007-2010 project 
expects to provide policy guidelines that will 
help each stakeholder involved - public and 
private, from the local to the European and 
global level. The network includes 51 members and 
is coordinated by Politecnico of Torino's NEXA 
Research Center for Internet and Society.
More info: http://communia-project.eu/

COMMUNIA Media Office:
press {AT} communia-project.eu
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